Good news/bad news time.
Good news-85 percent of parents with children
under age 13 believe they have the primary responsibility for
teaching their children about religious beliefs and spiritual
matters, according to the Barna Research Group.
Bad news-the majority of parents “do not spend
any time during a typical week discussing religious matters or
studying religious materials with their children.”
What can we take from this information? There
is a clear opportunity to help equip our parents and families to
help them foster a nurturing faith environment at home. We’ve asked
the experts on family ministry for their tips and strategies that
can help your ministry connect with families. Here are five
can’t-miss family ministry tips from the experts.
1. Children’s Ministry to Family Ministry Many churches are asking
their children’s ministry leaders to refocus and rebrand into a
family ministry. There are basically three models of family
ministry that many churches go with: the family-integration model,
family-friendly departmental model, and the family-equipping model.
Check out Larry Shallenberger’s guide to each to find out what works best with
2. Strengthen Family Ties In an interview with Bill
Carmichael, co-founder of Good Family magazines (Virtue, Christian
Parenting Today, and Parents of Teenagers), Stephanie Martin asked
how busy children’s ministers can keep their families healthy.
Bill’s answer? “The most effective thing parents can do is to be
prayer warriors on behalf of their kids.” By putting a focus on
prayer, we can help parents strengthen families. Make sure you
click the link to read the interview in its entirety and see
more of Bill’s healthy family tips for those in your ministry and
your family as well.
3. Make Connections Between Home and Church
Sometimes taking simple steps to help communication is all you need
to give your parents a boost. Suzanne Perdew has come up with some
great simple tips that you can use today. My favorite is setting up a
family-enrichment committee, like a church in Nashville, Tennessee did.
The committee plans programs and activities that’ll promote the mental
and spiritual development of families.
Help Parents Succeed In an article about partnering
with parents, Mike Sciarra and Carmen Kamrath provide some great
practical tips that are sure to help. I really enjoyed the
breakdown of the primary ways you can help parents succeed in their
role as their children’s faith developers. First, give parents
simple faith-building activities they can do at home. Next, take
steps to bridge the gap between church and home (such as giving
parents a copy of your curriculum’s scope and sequence). Finally,
equip parents with resources (many are provided
within the link).
Hold a Parent Meeting We know that parents want to
take the lead when it comes to talking about faith with their
children. Hold a simple meeting to help parents learn to naturally
pass on their faith to their children. Christine Yount Jones made
everything super easy: just click the link and there you’ll find your script for the
meeting. It’s quick, easy, and full of activities that will help
parents see how they can pass on their faith to their children.
Another great way to connect with parents is through newsletters. The Parenting Christian Kids newsletter is a
customizable monthly newsletter designed to let you connect with the families in your children’s ministry. Each month you get a complete, themed newsletter to keep parents informed with a minimal amount of work. You can alter the contents or use it as is. Plus…it’s easy to distribute! You can simply email it, post it, mail it, or print it and distribute.
Looking for more great family ministry tips? Every issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine, we share great tips and advice from those serving in family ministries. It’s a great resource that your team will love!
How have you been focusing on families in your ministry? What tips would you share? Let us know using the comment section below!